After three months and 1800 nm we sailed into Port Louis, Grenada. While it is the end of the first leg of our journey, it’s a big one, and everyone has a great sense of accomplishment. As you will understand from previous blogs, it has not been an easy trip and we are looking forward to staying in one place for a while and getting to know some other cruisers.
We had been pressing hard to get here by June 1st for insurance purposes and although we are several weeks late we chocked it up to “Island time”. Once we arrived in striking distance of Grenada we actually slowed down a bit and spent a week in the Grenadines, visiting the Tobago Cays to swim with the turtles, and Salt Whistle Bay before checking out Union Island. Per island protocol we checked into Grenada at Carriacou the next day, and that will hopefully be the end of Caribbean customs and immigration for a few months. Mommy is becoming increasingly proficient at poaching wifi signals and we consequently have had more regular internet, which has been a welcome change.
While in Tyrell Bay we heard that there was a raftparty in the mangrove swamp, and having no idea what this meant we decided to go. Bring your own drinks and an appetizer and meet in the mangrove swamp to chat and raft up a bunch of RIBs….? It felt a bit like going behind the parking lot during a high school dance…but when we got there we found six other RIBs tied together just floating with a bunch of Brits drinking cocktails. We would slowly drift from one side of the mangroves to another. Each time we “bumped” into the trees, one of us would start up our outboard and propel the group into the centre again. This was definitely a first for us! Apparently they do something like this in Grenada, only each boat brings a musical instrument. Stay tuned…
School is drawing to a close and we are currently immersed in exams. Your mother pulls no punches and I am forced to search through the different workbooks (she didn’t make an answer key!) when we mark them. We are all looking forward to the end of the final assignments.
Just in case you forget over the years, let me tell you about public transportation in Grenada. There are taxis of course and we are constantly being hassled by drivers trying to fleece another foreigner for a ride across town or worse, a tour of the island. These usually cost about $80 dollars which we feel would be better spent on rum. The second option is the bus….but not like OC transpo busses in Ottawa. These are mini vans in various states of disrepair with seats packed in to the bursting point. If we are even near a bus stop they screech to a halt and the door is flung open to the beat of either reggae or rap…or sometimes both. The driver is usually a young man, rasta hat and earrings, and he usually has a number two who collects the money. Most rides usually cost around $1 per person but we have climbed onto a bus to find it suddenly change to a taxi and the fare goes up to $40. We have learned to ask the cost of everything before committing, regardless of how generous or spontaneous the offer may seem. The local busses are affordable, efficient and death defying means of transportation, and are usually more interesting than whatever we initially set out to do, constituting entertainment in itself.
Our first night in St. Georges we decided to go to the movies….we first took the RIB to the jetty at a beach of an outdoor restaurant where we tied and locked it besides three idle but polite gentlemen. We asked where the theatre was and I received a lazy roll of the head which left me 360 different options, so we walked up the path towards the road. Along the way we received much more precise directions to get on the bus and tell the driver where we wanted to go. No sooner had we reached the road than a van pulled over, tassels swinging from the windshield, and reggae booming out the window. It must be travel fatigue because we all just jumped in, told the driver we wanted to go to the movie theatre, (to which we received no response) and off we go with Bob Marley doing his best Robert Schumaker impersonation. No sooner had we started than he pulled over, the door flew open, and there we were at the Movie Palace. Efficient and cheap…and we all survived. Pretty much the same thing on the way home except it was pouring rain and although we were dropped off near the RIB, by the time we got to the dock we were all completely soaked. Roaring the mile home in the pitch black, sheeting rain while trying to pick out Rafiki from the rest of the boats seemed like a fitting end to our movie adventure.